Morning pancakes were punctuated by scrambled eggs. It was a complete breakfast.

There was knocking on our door.

I expected to see the bald mailman, with his jolly face, but it was Leanne—fresh, like a flower that opens for the sun.

Her incisors were two tiny points, that smiled through red lips.

“Do you want some breakfast?” I asked her.

“Sure,” she said.

She had-on a new dress. She smelled good.

My dad looked at her, like the dream he never had.

That’s what happens when you get older…

All the things you didn’t have, laugh at you.

“Does your dad know you’re here?”

“Yes,” Leanne said.

“I’ll take you to school, but this is the last time.”

Leanne looked at the floor.

“Does your dad know we don’t want to carpool anymore?”

“Not really.”

“Maybe, I better go tell him.”

“No, you can’t do that. My mom’s taking care of him.”

“Broken arm, or not, I should tell him.”

“It’s not that—she’s doing a private dance for him. It’s the one he likes. She’s playing their song.”

It donned-on my dad. He looked like a defeated doormat, stepped-on, by the shit-stained boots of a biker.

“Well, let’s go. I’ve had my coffee. That’s about the best thing that’s going to happen to me today, unless my workplace catches fire,” he said.

The drive to school was electric.

I was sitting next to Leanne. My heart was pulsing up and down. It was wonderful, but I knew my internal roller-coaster only had room for one, and when she got out of our car, she wouldn’t know me, and I would be staring at her across a crowd of ape-like boys, while engaged in sophisticated games of reason.

That’s what happened, like Deja Vu, and the end of our day was punctuated by the bell.

It was going to be a long walk home. My dad was preparing me for the same kind of life he was living.

“Have you seen my daughter?”

It was Charles.

He had on a black leather jacket, and a bandana.

“Sorry, I haven’t seen her since this morning.”

“Where’s the main office?”

“Over there.”

Charles knocked on the window, and this fat secretary looked at him. She had more Chins than a Chinese Phone Book.

“Yes?” She asked.

“My daughter is Leanne Summers. Do you know where she is?”

“Let me see…” She made this clucking sound with her lips.

“Her uncles picked her up.”

“She’s been stolen,” Charles said.

“I’ll call the police.”

“I do my own stunts.”

That’s when I saw the .45 under his armpit. “Do you know how to handle one of these?” He asked me.

Charles handed me the gun.

“Sir, this is a gun-free zone.”

He looked at her, like he might blow her brains out.

“If you want to get the girl, you got to have the gun,” he told me.

To be continued…

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